Making a statement in bronze with Morgan Shimeld

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    Making a statement in bronze with Morgan Shimeld

    The Perth reception counter is the one of the first, certainly the largest, furniture pieces sculptor Morgan Shimeld has been commissioned for. Morgan Discusses his works and the heavyweight project.

    LivingEdgePerth 390 LR

    News - 09.03.2019

    The work of Sydney/Blue Mountains based sculptor, Morgan Shimeld, is primarily concerned with the aesthetic and theoretical concepts of modernist architecture and design. Shimeld’s work, characterised by attention to structure and form, incorporates cast, welded and fabricated bronze and steel. His practice is informed by the art movements of Minimalism, Formalism and Geometric Abstraction.  

    Shimeld has worked closely with Living Edge for several years, his statement making sculptural pieces are showcased in all Living edge showrooms. The Perth reception counter is the first furniture piece Living Edge commision Morgan to complete. Below Shimeld discusses this project. 

    Tell us a bit about yourself. What were the key drivers behind starting your own sculpture studio, and what has the journey been like to date?  "I’ve always been interested in making objects. I was influenced by my father who was a potter and my grandfather also painted. I spent a lot of time growing up in my dad’s ceramics studio. At University I studied a Bachelor of Visual Art – majoring in glass, and at the same time had a job working in a Fine Art Bronze Casting Foundry, casting bronze sculptures. After graduating University, my sculpture practise evolved over a number of solo exhibitions to exclusively be bronze and steel works (both wire and solid form) in an abstract geometric style. My works are now primarily welded and fabricated out of bronze and steel. A couple of years ago I moved to the Blue Mountains with my wife and kids and built a home studio. I love working from home, it helps my creativity to have my work life and home life integrated.  

    What do you consider to be your core values as a sculptor? How do these manifest themselves in your work?  "My core values as a sculptor are quality, precision, harmony in the design and attention to detail. I take pride in a high standard of quality in the production of my work. My years of experience at the Bronze Art Foundry helped me to hone my skills as a welder and I pay a lot of attention to getting the final finish of my work up to a high standard. The overall shapes and designs of my work are something I also pay a lot of attention to. I work with physical models and not from a computer, so I spend time contemplating and constructing my models carefully. The creative process is very organic, I just work with my materials until they have the feeling I wish to convey. "

    What are some of your greatest achievements to date? "Designing the Brass Bar for the award winning The Office Space in Surry Hills. Showing my work in Milan at the Salone De Mobile 2015 in the Bassam Fellows showroom. Sending a 2.5m tall Triplex sculpture to New Cannan Connecticut to the Bassam Fellows private collection. Winning the Janice Reid Emerging Artists Award at the University of Western Sydney Sculpture Award in 2014."

    How important is sustainable design to you and your practice? & what aspects do you apply to your design philosophy to accommodate this? "Sustainability is an important factor in my life. My home and studio are run mostly by solar power and I recycle all of my scrap materials. My powder coaters implement an environmental policy in regards to emissions and water conservation."

    As primarily sculpture/design what has inspired you to step in to furniture? "Many of my influencing sculptors, such as Noguchi and Meadmore have also had a successful furniture/object design practise. Working 3 dimensionally, these intertwine and cross over freely. I have always had a keen interest in furniture and have made bespoke plinths and tables to display my sculptures on. The Office Space Brass Bar was my first formal foray into furniture design. I have designed and made a number of nesting side tables for my own home, just because I knew I could custom make them exactly how I wanted them to work in my space. The Perth Counter project was my first large-scale functional sculptural/ furniture object that I have completely designed and produced myself. It has been a really exciting project to work on and something I would love to do more of. "

    What was the brief for the piece commissioned for our Living Edge Perth showroom? What has the design process been like? Have there been any challenges how have you accommodated for this project? "The brief was to design a sculptural based reception counter, which would be the focal point of the main entryway. The secondary component to the design brief was to design a wall and ceiling feature that would hide existing services behind the reception counter. The interior architect (Hassell) were using my sculptures as inspiration for the architectural design, so it fitted well to have one of my sculptures function as the main focal point. This is the single largest bronze sculpture I have made to date, it weighs 250kg. Working out to integrate functioning drawers into a sculpture that has no parallel lines was quite a challenge. "

    Do you see yourself moving more into furniture? "I would love to do more statement pieces like this one. I can see the potential to create more of these bespoke functional statement pieces for similar scenarios."

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